Prime Minister of Grenada Dr. Keith Mitchell has insisted that a change of structure should be the primary focus of the next Cricket West Indies (CWI) boss, following the announcement of a challenge to incumbent president Dave Cameron.

After four terms in charge of the regional body, Cameron will face a challenge from former Windies team manager Ricky Skerritt, when the organisation goes to the polls next month.

Mitchell, who has at times found himself in an adversarial relationship with regional cricket’s leadership team in recent years, however, believes very little will be different unless the new leader is willing to focus on decades-long structural deficiencies.

“30-50 years ago Governments were operating one way in terms of how they governed countries.  They made you believe they could solve all your problems, ‘just vote for me’.  That has changed dramatically, businesses had to change over the years and be more transparent,” Mitchell told the SportsMax Zone.

“Trade Unions had to also recognize that it was not about getting increases in salary but also getting productivity, it’s a competitive world.  Similarly, sporting bodies cannot operate a 19 century, 20th-century system in the 21st century,” he added.

A 2015 CARICOM-commissioned Governance Report – authored by prominent regional academic and UWI Cave Hill principal Professor Eudine Barriteau – had called for the “immediate dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board and the appointment of an Interim Board.”

“The chop and change of presidents in my view is not going to solve the problems that are plaguing West Indies cricket.  The attitude and structure that we have in place and the transparency and accountability has to be a fundamental issue also.”

 Solid middle order batting from the trio of Devon Thomas, Jahmar Hamilton and Terrance Ward left the Leeward Islands Hurricanes in a comfortable position, on day 1 of the West Indies Championship fixture at Warner Park.

At stumps, the Leewards were 295 for 5 after being sent in to bat by the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force who won the toss.  The score was, however, compiled after the Hurricanes staged a remarkable recover after a poor start to the innings.

The Hurricanes lost opener Montcin Hodge in the fourth over and partner Kieran Powell four overs later to leave the team struggling at 14 for 2.  Medium pacer Daniel St Clair was responsible for the removal of both openers, first bowling Hodge for 2 before having Powell caught by Jason Mohammed for 5.

Up next at the crease, however, Keacy Carty and Thomas began the repair job for the Hurricanes, adding 105 for the third wicket.

The partnership was ended when Carty, who was just short of a half-century on 44, was caught by Joshua Da Silva off the bowling of Anderson Phillips.  Thomas followed to the pavilion five overs later, when he was stumped by Denesh Ramdin off the bowling of Khary Pierre.  Thomas’ well struck 67 came from 103 balls.

There would be little respite for the T&T bowling attack, however, as Hamilton would join Ward at the crease with the duo putting on 109 for the fifth wicket.  The partnership was ended by Pierre who had Hamilton caught by Jason Mohammed on 68.

Ward ended the day on 64 and was joined at the crease by Rahkeem Cornwall, who was not out on 34 from 55.  St Clair and Pierre were the pick of the bowlers, with two wickets each for the Red Force.

Cricket West Indies President Dave Cameron will face a challenge to his attempt to lead the organization for a fourth term from former West Indies team manager, Ricky Skerritt.

Skerritt announced he would be in the running for the post that goes up for election on March 28 and announced a running mate in Dr Kishore Shallow, who will be challenging for the post of vice president. 

Windies skipper Jason Holder has hailed the impact of top opening batsman Chris Gayle who cracked 135 in a losing effort against England on Monday.

On a placid Kensington Oval pitch that suited the batsmen, the 39-year-old left-hander cracked an astounding 12 sixes and four 4s enroute to his 135 off 129 balls.  The effort was, however, somewhat in vain as England cruised to a six-wicket win on the back of centuries from Jason Roy (123) and Joe Root (102).  The result saw England move ahead 1-0 in the five-test One Day International series.

“Credit to our batters I thought we played exceptionally well on what was a really good pitch, one of the best I have seen at Kensington Oval for a while. I thought Chris played a really good innings. He took a bit of time upfront, got himself set and then put pressure back on the spinners in the middle and forced Eoin Morgan to bring back the seamers back a bit earlier. I felt he held the innings together and gave other batters a chance to express themselves,” Holder said.

“England played well to chase down our target. We’re now 1-0 down so we know we have to bounce back on Friday and look to make it 1-1 before we head off to Grenada.”

The teams will play the second ODI at the same venue tomorrow.

Jason Roy and Joe Root both struck centuries as England completed a record run chase to win the first one-day international against West Indies in Barbados.

Set 361 to win after Chris Gayle's 24th ODI hundred had helped West Indies to 360-8 from their 50 overs, Roy and Root starred in Bridgetown.

Gayle had thrilled a packed Kensington Oval as he marked his return to ODIs in style, but his 135 off 129 balls was ultimately in vain.

After Roy's superb knock at the top of the order, Root (102) guided the tourists to a six-wicket victory with eight balls to spare – becoming the fastest Englishman to 5,000 ODI runs in the process.

The victory marked England's biggest successful run chase in ODIs, eclipsing the 350 they managed against New Zealand in June 2015.

In his first ODI since July, Gayle made a sluggish start and had just nine runs off 32 balls when he was dropped by Roy.

That proved costly as the flamboyant opener made England pay with a sensational display of hitting.

Aided by fine knocks from Shai Hope (64) and Shimron Hetmyer (20), Gayle pushed the Windies towards a huge total as he cleared the rope on 12 occasions.

Those maximums helped the hosts set a record of 23 in a single innings, while also giving Gayle the most individual sixes in international cricket – moving past Shahid Afridi.

Despite his slow start, Gayle reached three figures off 100 balls and continued to bludgeon England's bowling until he was dismissed by a slower ball from Ben Stokes.

Darren Bravo (40) and Ashley Nurse (25 not out) pushed the Windies up to 360-8, the latter hitting a six off the last ball of the innings to eclipse New Zealand's mark for most maximums in an innings.

A target of 361 could have been daunting for England but they showed why they are the number one side in the world and Cricket World Cup favourites with a successful run chase.

Roy and Jonny Bairstow gave them a solid foundation with an opening partnership of 91, before the former took the lead in a 114-run stand with Root.

Like Gayle before him, Roy pierced the field with unerring regularity, finding the boundary on 15 occasions and clearing it a further three.

While Root anchored one end, Roy motored to his seventh hundred, brought up off just 65 balls as England made light work of their challenge.

They were helped by some sloppy fielding from the Windies with Oshane Thomas, Bravo and Nurse all dropping catches that allowed England to build momentum.

Even after Roy's departure for 123, the tourists continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over as Root and captain Eoin Morgan frustrated the Windies with a 116-run partnership.

Morgan perished for 65 but Root went on to reach three figures to give his side a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Legendary West Indies captain Clive Lloyd has backed the regional team to spring a few surprises at this summer’s ICC Cricket World Cup. 

The Windies only just secured a spot in the final, having qualified from the ICC World Cup qualifiers last year.  Since then, however, the team has shown signs of improvement under the leadership of current skipper Jason Holder.

Lloyd, who won the tournament as the captain in 1974 and ’78, is confident the team has the ability but is yet to find a level of consistency.

 “I think they can be the surprise package,” Lloyd said of the team’s chances.

“The West Indies had a very good one day side four years running but you can never get the same guys playing.  They go off to the IPL or somewhere else. But when you have them they gel together,” he added.

“They were quite a formidable side. If they have the right combination here they will be a force to be reckoned with in this competition.”

The Windies will play their first match of the tournament against Pakistan on May 31st.  The top four teams from the group will progress to the knockout stage

 

West Indies hit a record 23 sixes against England on Wednesday as Chris Gayle fired the hosts to 360-8 in the opening ODI. 

Windies skipper Jason Holder claims the unit is pleased to once again don the underdogs' tag ahead of the One Day International (ODI) series against England, which bowls off on Wednesday.

Heading into the series as the world’s number-one ranked team, England will once again be heavy favourites, with the regional side ranked some eight places below them. 

With the situation very similar to the one they faced in the Test series, where the Windies dominated to win 2-1.  Holder, who was suspended for the only the third and only Test the team lost, is hoping to return and make an immediate impact.

“We're pretty confident, we have momentum from the Test series and good experience in the dressing room,” Holder said.

“We pack a pretty heavy punch when we're stacking up our team. 'Underdogs' is not a bad tag to have - it's more pressure on them and less pressure on us,” he added.

“It was tough watching the Test in St Lucia but I'm very hungry to get back on the park and looking forward to the challenge of carrying the team forward.”

The Windies will face an even tougher test than the Test series with both pacers Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach out of action.  Keemo Paul, Evin Lewis and Rovman Powell are also ruled out.

Windies wicket-keeper batsman Shai Hope has hailed the addition of star left-hander Chris Gayle to the squad as the team prepares to face England in the upcoming One Day International series.

The 39-year-old will return to the ODI team for the first time since 2018 when the Windies faced off against Bangladesh.  Gayle will play the opening two matches of the five-match series against England.

With the experienced batsman just short of 10,000 ODI runs at an average of 36.98 and 15 centuries, Hope is confident Gayle’s addition will be a major boost to the team.

"It’s great, just to see him (Gayle) at nets. Good laugh, good shots as well, and he’s going to strengthen the team a lot," ICC quoted Hope as saying. 

 "We know the importance that Gayle brings to the team. He has a lot of experience and we need to make sure we use that experience and strengthen the entire team," he added.

Hope, who was part of the team's recent Test series win against England also believes that victory will give the team added confidence ahead of the series.

"It’s a lot to look forward to. It's a very exciting time, especially leading up to the World Cup so I’m sure the guys are ready and raring to go. We are just coming off a Test series win and that was fantastic for everyone involved and the fans, so it is important for us to continue in that vein and try to get the series win as well.”

The Windies will face England in the first ODI on Wednesday at the Kensington Oval.

Chris Gayle is to retire from ODIs following the Cricket World Cup, West Indies have confirmed. 

The explosive batsman is second only to the legendary Brian Lara in the list of most ODI runs scored by a West Indies player, having scored 9,672 to date.

Gayle has played 281 50-over matches in his career, scoring 23 hundreds – the most by a West Indian in the format.

The 39-year-old's involvement in one-day cricket has dwindled in recent years due to his stints in various lucrative Twenty20 tournaments. 

Cricket West Indies announced the news via a short statement that read: "Talismanic WINDIES batsman, Chris Gayle, has announced he will retire from One-Day Internationals following the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 England & Wales."

Gayle was included for the Windies' first two ODIs of the five-match series with England, the first of which takes place in Bridgetown on Wednesday.

West Indies have called Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell and John Campbell into their squad for the first two one-day internationals against England, in response to a succession of injury problems.

All-rounders Rovman Powell and Keemo Paul have both been ruled out, while opener Evin Lewis has withdrawn from the squad due to a groin injury.

Former Windies T20 skipper Brathwaite and Cottrell have therefore earned recalls, while Campbell is in line to win a first ODI cap after impressing in the recent Test series victory over England.

"With our squad suffering from a few players with injuries even before a ball is bowled, an opportunity presents itself for other players to make a claim for ICC Cricket World Cup spots," said chairman of selectors Courtney Browne.

"The [selection] panel take this opportunity to wish the injured players a speedy recovery and to wish the team success in the upcoming ODIs."

Kensington Oval in Barbados will host the first two games in a five-match series on Wednesday and Friday, before contests in Grenada and St Lucia.

 

Revised West Indies squad for first two ODIs:

Jason Holder (captain), Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas.

Mark Wood said he felt like a "superhero" as he tore through West Indies in a ferocious spell to set up a consolation Test victory for England in St Lucia.

The paceman's career has been blighted by injuries, but he made up for lost time by claiming a maiden five-wicket haul with first-innings figures of 5-41 last weekend.

Playing his first Test since last May, Wood provided the hostility the tourists had been lacking and the quick even surprised himself with the pace he generated in England's 232-run win.

He told The Guardian: "You almost feel like a superhero. I've been playing Mario Kart recently and yeah, it's like when you get a magic mushroom and you're just absolutely flying."

Wood added: "I'll never forget the feeling of that spell. If I'm ever down about my bowling I'll re-watch the highlights. 

"I've watched them about 20 times already – probably more. This will sound bad but seeing it back I just thought: 'Wow, that's me.' I couldn't believe how well I bowled and how fast it looked on TV. I was so happy."

Wood's Man-of-the-Match left him feeling emotional after spending so much time in the treatment room over the years.

"I held the ball up and felt so proud, then I got into the pavilion, had a hug with the physio Craig de Weymarn – he's touched me in places my wife never has! – and it all sunk in," said the 29-year-old. 

"It was everything I'd wanted after all I'd been through with injury. I know it's only one five-for and there's Jimmy [James Anderson] and Broady [Stuart Broad] with tons of them, but it was so special.

"I felt I finally belonged in the England Test team. I put the ball in my England cap, sat them next to me and just looked at them. All the emotions came out. I was a bit teary."

Shannon Gabriel has given his account of his third-Test exchange with Joe Root, with the West Indies bowler offering an "unreserved apology" to the England team and their captain as well as his own team-mates. 

Windies star batsman Chris Gayle has appealed against what has been deemed inadequate compensation, in a case against Australia Media entity Fairfax Media that was decided in his favour a little over a year ago.

In the much-publicized case, the 39-year-old batsman took the media house to court following its publication of sexual misconduct allegations levelled against him by former West Indies massage therapist Leanne Russell. 

Russell had claimed Gayle intentionally exposed his penis to her, while on a visit to the team locker room while making an indecent proposition.  Her version of events was printed by multiple tabloids.

The court, however, ruled that the publishers failed to establish a defence of truth regarding the allegations at the heart of the case.  In a judgment made in December last year, Justice Lucy McCallum awarded Gayle a total of $325,112 for the stories, including interest. The amount did not include Aggravated damages and fell at the lower end of the statutory cap on such rulings.

Fairfax, who has since launched an appeal, has since sought to delay the payment.  In filing a counter-appeal late last month, however, Gayle’s legal team has argued that the damages awarded were "manifestly inadequate" and Justice McCallum "erred in failing to award aggravated damages".

 In the original ruling, the jury had found that the publisher acted with malice, meaning the articles were published for an improper purpose.

West Indies paceman Shannon Gabriel will miss the first four games of the one-day international series against England for comments made to Joe Root during the third Test in St Lucia.

Gabriel was charged by the ICC after an altercation with the England captain on the third day of a match the tourists won by 232 runs on Tuesday.

Root was picked up on the stump microphone saying to the Windies quick: "Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay".

The skipper said after the close of play on Monday that Gabriel "might regret" his comments, but refused to state what the 30-year said to him.

Gabriel admitted breaching article 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct, which relates to "personal abuse of a player, player support personnel, umpire or match referee during an international match".

He will be unavailable for all but one of the ODIs against England after being hit with three demerit points, taking his total to eight in the space of two years.

Gabriel, who was banned one Test last year after reaching the threshold of four demerit points, was also fined 75 per cent of his match fee.

 

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